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From the Archives: Virginia political leaders react to news of Osama bin Laden’s death

Virginia political leaders react to news of Osama bin Laden’s death
May 2, 2011 3:19 AM MST

President Barack Obama’s late-night confirmation of the death of Osama bin Laden – an announcement that had been preceded by hours of speculation on Twitter – led naturally to reactions by political leaders across the country, including those in Virginia.


death of Osama bin Laden UBL
U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA7) said that the “men and women of our armed forces and intelligence community have fought valiantly for the last decade and this is a major victory and testament to their dedication. I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice. While this is no doubt a major event in our battle against terrorism, we will not relent in our fight against terror and our efforts to keep America safe and secure.”

In a news release distributed by his office, U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6) said:

“The brave men and women of our military work hard day in and day out to preserve our security and deserve our gratitude for accomplishing this dangerous mission. Without their dedication to the mission and their resolve to track Osama Bin Laden, tonight’s announcement would not have been possible.”

Freshman Representative Scott Rigell (R-VA2) tweeted:

“Hearing now that Navy SEALS led the operation. So incredibly proud of them. True warriors in defense of freedom.”

Three Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated after the 2012 election by Democrat Jim Webb also had reactions.

Former Governor and Senator George F. Allen released a statement that said, in part:

“The death of Osama Bin Laden is important symbolically and strategically, but it is not the end of the war on terror. Radical terrorism is larger than any one person or one group. America and her allies are still the target of the enemies of freedom, and we must remain vigilant in our fight.”

Jamie Radtke, another candidate for the 2012 GOP nomination, said on her campaign web site:

“Our war against militant Islamic terrorism is not over. Prudence suggests that we face greater risks in the near-term, as al-Qaeda attempts to show that bin Laden’s demise does not end their war against America and the world. It is my prayer, however, that Osama bin Laden’s death will be a turning point in the war in Afghanistan.”

Northern Virginia businessman Timothy Donner, the most recent entrant into the Republican Senate race, said on Twitter:

“We are grateful and proud to our brave military for making this moment possible” and “while this death stirs memories of the unspeakable horror of 9/11, this represents the triumph of American will.”

Party Leaders
Pat Mullins, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in a statement distributed via email to journalists:

"This is a tremendous day, not only for the Commonwealth of Virginia, but for our entire country. The man who plotted the murder of hundreds of innocents on Virginia soil and thousands elsewhere has finally been brought to justice.”

Former Governor L. Douglas Wilder (D-Richmond) first tweeted “Looks like we got him,” followed by “Americans owe a great debt of gratitude to our men & women in the U.S. military and in the intelligence community.”

As this goes to press, other members of the Virginia congressional delegation, other announced candidates for the U.S. Senate, and other state party chairmen had not responded to the news of bin Laden’s demise.

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on May 2, 2011. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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